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jjrbus 04-20-2013 02:39 PM

Removing thinset
I have a 25 year old ceramic tile floor 6X6" tile set in thinset on a concrete slab. The tile is solid, but dated.

I am on the fence on replacing it, small bath 30 Sq Ft of tile. I do not want to tile over the existing tile as I do not like the lump it forms at the door.

If I remove the existing tile do I also have to remove the existing thin-set mortar before setting new tile? From past experience, I know the tile is doable, but have no idea about thinset?

oh'mike 04-20-2013 06:51 PM

Removing the old thinset becomes quite easy if you rent a chipping hammer with a sharp, flat blade----

setters need to do this a lot---and ,with a chipping hammer,it is just one more step in preparing the floor----

jjrbus 04-21-2013 06:45 AM

Thanks for the response. Is there a reason for removing the thin-set? JIm

oh'mike 04-21-2013 06:55 AM

It's nice to have a flat surface to work from-----if you can set the new tile over the old thinset--without knocking off chunks and ending up with lumpy thinset--then tiling over it can be done.

jjrbus 04-21-2013 07:38 AM

Thanks Mike. I have been reading about removing thin-set. It seems like anything that hard to remove needs to stay there. I did not consider putting new thin-set over ridges!

The bath is about 30 square feet so is no big deal, but I am considering replacing the tile/carpet in the rest of the house with tile, so the bath is a bit of an experiment.

oh'mike 04-21-2013 03:32 PM

Read some of the tiling threads here---Pay special attention to advice from Jaz or Bud Cline---Both are top notch teachers.

jjrbus 04-21-2013 07:19 PM

So there I am ready to do battle with the thin set! Ear protection, dust mask, safety glasses, gloves, small sledge and chisel. Rain X so the glasses do not fog up. All ready to go.

I am starting at the toilet where I have an exposed edge. The first tile is tenacious, coming off in little chunks and I am thinking oh poopies! Then I hit where the tile is set in thin set on top of sheet vinyl! This is going to be a breeze:thumbup: Yep, whole bath, tiled right over the vinyl!

But now the big question is the rest of the tile in the house set on sheet vinyl?

Thanks for the input always appreciated. JIm

oh'mike 04-21-2013 07:30 PM

Sometime the things we worry about the most turn out to be the easiest---

Have fun removing the vinyl---a razor scraper is a useful tool----

jjrbus 04-24-2013 03:41 PM

The tile is gone, they vinyl is gone, the vinyl was much harder to remove than the tile!

NOw I have a coating of vinyl adhesive on a concrete floor. I have done several web searches and come up with tile right over it, to every last drop must be removed.

Use adhesive remover, dont use adhesive remover, it will affect the thinset bond! Use heat gun, scrape off, hot water, on and on. None of which do very well.

The stuff is tenacious. 1st does it need to come off? If so, what is a reasonable way to remove it?
Thanks JIm

pgc555 04-24-2013 03:56 PM

Try a wallpaper scraper. The kind with a long handle and 6" Sharp blades.
Try to cut on an angle motion. You should be able to get the vinyl glue up with that. Good thing it's a small bath floor :thumbsup:

jjrbus 04-24-2013 04:53 PM

Thanks for the response. I have been in there with a razor blade scraper. The stuff barely comes off, but this is waaaaay too much effort for even a small bath.

As I am looking at this I have a thought. I say adhesive and as I scrape the ridges of adhesives come off leaving a white coating or thin film (tried taking Pic, but does not show well) Could they have used some kind of primer before putting on vinyl adhesive?

Thanks Jim

timkitchen 04-26-2013 03:38 AM

Removing thin-set
Its good to replacing the old tiles with the new tiles, this change will make you feel good, as making changes in the things makes one feel good. :)
For placing the new tiles, no need to remove the older thin-set mortar. If there is some uneven surface, just make it plane,it will take too much less effort but no need to plane the whole surface from initial. You can place the new tiles by removing the old tiles only on existing thin-set mortar.

jjrbus 04-26-2013 06:10 AM

Thanks for the response, it is not thinset now. it is vinyl adhesive. It is not water souluable and heat does not affect it, it also quickly gums up sandpaper, acetone does not affect it!!

oh'mike 04-26-2013 06:23 AM

You can tile over many adhesives----do not use chemicals to remove the goo--they may soak into the sub-straight and cause bonding issues----

Kera Bond mixed with Keralastic will work over most adhesives---check with the manufacturer---

jjrbus 04-26-2013 11:49 AM

Thanks, that is the answer I have been looking for! Removing this adhesive for me is out of the question, waaaay more effort than it is worth.

Nothing affects it, and it quickly gums up abrasives. The only practical option I see would be sand blasting. I have no desire to sandblast in the house.

Then there is always the thought, if they can tile over vinyl, why not the adhesive?

Thanks JIm

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